UK imposes sanctions on Iran, Russia

TEHRAN, Dec. 13 (MNA) – Britain on Tuesday said it had sanctioned 12 Russian military commanders as well as Iranian businessmen involved in the alleged production and supply of military drones used in the Ukraine war.

Britain said among those sanctioned was Major General Robert Baranov, believed to be the commander of a unit responsible for programming and targeting Russian cruise missiles, Reuters reported.

On Monday, Ukraine said Russian missiles, artillery and drones had hammered targets in eastern and southern Ukraine.

Britain claimed Iranian-manufactured drones had played a central role in attacks on civilians, citing US information showing Iran has become one of Russia’s top military backers, sending hundreds of drones to Russia.

Both Iran and Russia have repeatedly rejected claims that Tehran has provided Moscow with drones to be used in the war in Ukraine.

The anti-Iran claims first emerged in July, with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan alleging that Washington had received “information” indicating that the Islamic Republic was preparing to provide Russia with “up to several hundred drones, including weapons-capable UAVs on an expedited timeline” for use in the war.

In November, Iran's permanent mission to the United Nations requested a joint expert meeting with Kyiv on the issue of alleged supplies of Iranian drones to Russia to be used for strikes against Ukrainian targets.

Earlier on Monday, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani said that Ukraine has provided no proof of using Iranian drones by Russia.

Ukraine didn't show any documents that would prove the use of Iranian drones by Russia in the war during the meeting of Ukrainian and Iranian experts, the minister said.

The issue is not important and cannot be followed up because many of the remarks are based on unfounded rumors, he added.

Iran and Russia have long been cooperating in the military field, but have never interacted on the issue of drone supply during Russia's special operation in Ukraine, Ashtiani added.


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